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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Herb Lubalin Called, he wants his Typography Back

Reviewed Jul. 20, 2011 by Armin

Industry / Technology Tags /

The Verge Logo, New

To stick with our recent, technology-things-on-the-web theme — and, honestly, because it’s been a slow summer for identity changes — we’ll turn our attention to a new tech/gadget site that doesn’t even exist yet, but it comes with some major clout. To be launched this fall by Joshua Topolsky, former editor-in-chief of blog powerhouse Engadget from 2007 to 2011 and resident tech expert at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Verge will be, well, another technology news site. At least it has the advantage of launching a fresh publication as opposed to the sometimes clunky design updates of 10-year-old sites. Topolsky will be joined by other former Engadget editors and other tech writers. On their current site, This is My Next, they sort of explain the new project and the genesis of it.

The Verge

The Verge

The Verge

Left: 1978 ad by Herb Lubalin. Right: Ad for PhotoVision photolettering machine. Source article of both images.

If the logo looks familiar it’s because it’s a mash-up of a couple of very familiar design tropes. The wordmark is ripped right off Herb Lubalin’s playbook, typeset in a modified version of his own ITC Serif Gothic (Heavy) and then pimped with a ligature, just like Lubalin did in a 1978 ad, seen above. The icon isn’t that original either, it capitalizes on the ambiguous triangle trend that populates the pages of ffffound but, in its defense, it doubles as a “V” monogram so I’ll allow it. There is nothing wrong with mining the past, especially the 1970s-Herb-Lubalin past, as long as something new is being contributed or a clever twist applied. Here it’s just repetition. Even in the context of a 2011 web publication about technology, the irony of a 40-year-old style isn’t ironic enough. The content that The Verge will publish might take on the angle of “not just about what that technology means now, but what it means up ahead” but its logo is all about what already has been.

Thanks to Michael Lakomy for first tip.



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Brand New, is a division of UnderConsideration, displaying opinions, and focusing solely, on corporate and brand identity work. More…

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Austin, TX.

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